Dancers who join the company have leadership roles at Southern California Ballet, both in dance training as well as helping to make a vibrant community.
Calista Cartwright is a senior Honors/AP student at Westview High School. At age 3, she began dancing at the Rozann-Zimmerman Ballet Center in Los Angeles before moving to San Diego at the age of 13 and joining SCB. Calista recently completed her Cecchetti Advanced II exam, and is now working towards receiving her Cecchetti Teaching Certificate I. She attended CSSSA in 2015, Marin Dance Theatre in 2016, and the UC Irvine Summer Dance Program in 2017. Some of her most notable roles with SCB include Fairy in Cinderella, Rose Fairy in an excerpt from Sleeping Beauty, the Duck in Peter and the Wolf, a trio in Gregory Dawson’s In the Midst of a Summer Storm, and Hermia in A Midsummer’s Night Dream. In The Nutcracker, Calista has danced Columbine, Snow lead, Spanish, Arabian, Flower lead, and Snow Queen.
Josie Cole is a sophomore at Poway High School and has been dancing with SCB for four years. She attended CSSSA over the summer in 2017 and successfully completed her Grade 7 and 8 Cecchetti exam this past year. In this year’s The Nutcracker performances, Josie featured in Snow, Arabian, Chinese and Flowers. Future ambitions include becoming a veterinarian after graduating college.
Samuel Fiorino, a sophomore at Rancho Bernardo High School, has been dancing at Southern California ballet for eleven years. He has danced many roles including Fritz and Prince in The Nutcracker, the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, and Peter in Peter in the Wolf. Samuel has his 3rd degree black belt in Tang Soo Do and plays trumpet in the RBHS marching band.
Madeline Franz is a freshman at Rancho Bernardo High School. She began dancing when she was 6 years old. She recently received Honors on her Grade 8 Cecchetti exam and is working on the Cecchetti Advanced l exam. Some of her past roles include Clara, Arabian, Snow, and Flowers in The Nutcracker, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, the Dormouse in Alice in Wonderland, and Cotton-tail in Tales of Beatrix Potter. In her free time, Madeline likes to read and compose songs on the piano.
Lily Hofstetter is an 8th grade GATE/ Honors student at Mesa Verde Middle School. She began dancing at Southern California Ballet when she was 8 years old. Lily is currently preparing for her Cecchetti Advanced I exam. Past roles include Clara, Arabian, Snow, and Flowers in The Nutcracker and Benjamin Bunny in Tales of Beatrix Potter.
Sanae Kanenobu is a junior student at Poway High School. She began dancing at the age 6 and joined Southern California Ballet at age 11. Sanae is currently studying for her Cecchetti Advanced II exam. This is her third year as a company member, and she has participated in six productions of The Nutcracker with SCB. Past roles include Clara, Arabian, Spanish, Snow, and Flowers. Sanae attended CSSSA during the summer of 2016.
Kayla Kressin is a junior AP student at Poway High School. She has been training at SCB for ten years and recently completed her Cecchetti Advanced II exam. Kayla spent her summer at the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. Kayla has enjoyed every role granted to her at SCB and describes each character as a new “project,” eager to unfold.
Amecie Lublin is a senior AP/Honors student at Del Lago Academy. She began dancing at age 4 at SCB. Past summers, Amecie attended Cecchetti USA Regional Workshop, CSSSA, Marin Dance Theatre, and UCI Summer Academy of Dance. Past roles in The Nutcracker include Harlequin, Columbine, Viviandre, lead Bon Bon, Chinese, Spanish, Arabian, Liquorice, and Snow & Flower lead. Amecie portrayed a Fairy in Midsummer Night’s Dream and Autumn in Four Seasons.
Erika McCann is a freshman at Westview High School. She began dancing since she was 3 years old, and moved to Southern California Ballet when she was 6 years old. Erika is currently studying for her Cecchetti Advanced l exam. Erika attended the Cecchetti USA Residential Summer Course in Santa Barbara last year.
Kelsy Paraoan is a freshman at Del Norte High School. She began dancing with Southern California Ballet at 3 years old and is preparing for her Cecchetti Advanced II exam. This past summer, Kelsy was honored to represent Team USA as the youngest competitor in the junior division at the Cecchetti International Classical Ballet Competition in Florence, Italy.
Kanaha Takeda is a junior AP student at Rancho Bernardo High School. She started dancing at age 7 and has participated annually in The Nutcracker. Kanaha’s favorite roles include Red Riding Hood in Anderson’s Fairy Tales, Arabian in The Nutcracker, and Fairy in Midsummer Night’s Dream. She has attended summer intensives at the Rock School of Dance, VNT, and here at Southern California Ballet.
Kalei Tano is a freshman at Classical Academy High School. This year marks her ninth year of training with Southern California Ballet. She is 14 years old and is working towards her Cecchetti Advanced I exam. This past summer, Kalei attended the Cecchetti International Classical Ballet Summer School in Florence, Italy, where she trained under teachers from The Royal Ballet and Paris Opera Ballet. Kalei’s favorite past roles include Fairy in Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as Ragamuffin, Harlequin, Arabian, Snow, and Flowers corps in The Nutcracker.
Kendal Weatherhead is a 4.0 honor roll ninth grader at Maranatha Christian Schools. She is 14 years old and has been dancing for 11 years. Kendal has done many shows with SCB and competed at YAGP. She is currently studying for her Cecchetti Advanced I exam. Past roles include Snow, Flowers, and Arabian in The Nutcracker.
Leah Zabezhinsky is an honors freshman at Rancho Bernardo High School. She has been dancing with SCB since age six, and is currently studying for her Cecchetti Advanced 1 exam. Leah has attended the SCB's Summer Intensive, as well as the Cecchetti USA Residential Summer Course in Santa Barbara last summer. Leah has performed in eight years of productions with Southern California Ballet. Notable roles include Flopsy in Tales of Beatrix Potter and the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland.